The often overlooked (and underappreciated) 2007 effort from Marilyn Manson, ‘Eat Me, Drink Me’, showcases the first time the noted controversialist took listeners on a personal journey. This journey that Manson takes us on, though, isn’t a happy one. Not only does this record take a change of pace in Manson’s positioning of himself, but musically, this record represents a huge contrast from his previous record, 2003’s ‘The Golden Age of Grotesque’. Manson doesn’t go for the jugular as directly on this record as he has on preceding records. In fact, through Manson’s vulnerability, we’re opened to whole new windows that weren’t even offered to us on previous records.
The opening track on this record is “If I Was Your Vampire”, which paints the full picture of this record clearly. The idea of vampirism runs the course on this record, aiding in the weaponry that Manson equips to detail his complex state of suffering. Another of these weapons, as evidenced in the following track, “Putting Holes in Happiness”, is a sound that, perhaps unlike the subject matter of the record (or any Manson record, for that matter) is understated. This deliberately differs from past Manson records. Rather than his usual bluster and conglomeration of shock rock and industrial metal, Manson treats this record with a layer of a slightly conservative gothic rock sound (as conservative as that can be). Much of this lends itself to why many listeners didn’t warm to this record as much as Manson’s previous records, but, as can be the case with the general public’s view of artist’s branching out, this is a mistaken reaction. Moving further down the record, one of the undisputed highlights is “Evidence”. This is one of the grooviest tracks in Manson’s catalog and, lyrically, it should burn on contact. It’s the title track, though, that surpasses all other tracks on this record and will probably leave you sleeping with the lights on for the night. This shouldn’t be surprising. Anyone who is even vaguely familiar with Manson knows that he maintains an eccentric lifestyle and, one can imagine, this leads to some dark places. How romance mingles into this picture is something that is easier pondered than executed.
The critics got it wrong on this record (and many other Manson releases). This is an excellent record that has very few slipups. It should be noted, though, that if you can’t get on the level with the subject matter, this is probably going to fly way over your head. It can be an overwhelming record, but that’s a Manson trademark. It’s good for you. Consider yourself lucky enough that Manson decided to share this side of himself with you. If nothing else, that’s precisely what this record accomplished and, in that sense, this record represents a major turning point in Manson’s career. Since he released this record, much of his output has been more towards this vein. It’s been quite some time since Manson was capable of generating the kind of outrage that made him a household name and he’s clearly aware of the changes that time inevitably forces. There are those out there who will say that Manson is old news, that he peaked long ago. This isn’t the case. He simply has learned how to adjust with the changing times and alter his persona a bit, giving further credit to his longevity and powers as an artist. Besides, you’re smarter than “those out there”, aren’t you?